/chee"bah"/, n.a city on SE Honshu, in central Japan, near Tokyo. 746,428.
* * *▪ Japancity and capital of Chiba ken (prefecture), Honshu, Japan. It lies on the Bōsō Peninsula about 20 miles (30 km) southeast of Tokyo and on the east coast of Tokyo Bay. It was a castle town controlled by the Chiba family in the 12th–15th century, and during the Tokugawa period (1603–1867) it served as a post-station town for several major roads. The town grew after the construction of a railway connecting it with Tokyo in the second half of the 19th century. After World War II Chiba underwent great industrial growth that brought it large steel factories, a major electric-power plant, and complexes producing various chemicals. The city's port is also one of the busiest in Japan. Chiba University (1949) is located in a suburb. Pop. (2006 est.) 930,388.ken (prefecture), Honshu, Japan, lying on the Pacific coast of the Kantō Plain. It consists of the Bōsō Peninsula, which lies east of Tokyo Bay and south of the Tone River. Surpluses of rice, vegetables, eggs, and flowers are produced for Tokyo, and offshore fisheries flourish. The Tokyo-Yokohama industrial belt (see Keihin Industrial Zone) has expanded into Chiba prefecture to include the Keiyō Industrial Zone (q.v.). Factories built on reclaimed land produce chemicals, iron, steel, petroleum products, and sake. Large natural-gas deposits have been tapped.Chiba, the capital and largest city of the prefecture, is located on the northeastern coast of Tokyo Bay. It is the commercial and cultural centre of the peninsula. Chōshi is a major fishing port on the eastern coast, and Tateyama and Katsuura are important southern ports. Chiba and Tateyama have Air Defense headquarters. Sawara, on the Tone River, is a base for Suigo-Tsukuba Quasi-national Park. The southern part of the peninsula abounds with Shintō shrines and Buddhist temples; the Buddhist Shinshō Temple (often called Narita Fudō) in Narita attracts millions of pilgrims annually. Area 1,991 square miles (5,156 square km). Pop. (2006 est.) 6,077,929.
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